Far Out Flora

Plant ID: Poppies, Lavender,Yerba Buena


After two weeks off for Spring Break, our City College Plant ID class is back in action. It’s going to take me awhile before Eschscholzia californica rolls off the tongue. Last weekend I made Matti pull over between Big Sur and Cayucos when I saw some California Poppies en masse. They’re blooming all over the place right now and I love them.

California Poppies on the Pacific Coast

Poppies and friends

SF Botanical Garden’s great native section is looking pretty sweet right now. That’s a Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale)  freaking out with some cute little yellow Meadow Foam (Limnanthes douglasii).

Lavandula stoechas f. leucantha

Lavandula dentata

I’m a fan of Lavandula in all shapes and sizes.  This week we learned about Lavandula stoechas (Spanish) and Lavandula dentata (French). Lavenders are native to the Mediterranean which means they like quick draining soils, full sun and arid climates. We’re lucky enough to live in a Mediterranean climate here in San Francisco. I’ve had a pot of dentata that’s been happy for quite some time.

Satureja douglasii

Yerba Buena (good herb) is another California native. It makes a nice ground cover and can be used for tea. San Francisco used to be known as Yerba Buena back in the day, until the name was changed in 1847. It was named after the first Spanish Mission in the area, Misión San Francisco De Asis.

A while back we discovered an online pronunciation guide at Fine Gardening’s site. Sometimes we’re just not sure how to say some of the plant names we learn, so this can be helpful.

– Far Out Flora


  1. For pronunciation just remember that the accent usually goes on the anti-penultimate syllable. Helped me a great deal.

  2. Those poppies are gorgeous! I’m so jealous of your state!

  3. The California Poppy photo is just Gorgeous! I love love love those flowers!

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